Mixed martial artist Grant Blackler.
Mixed martial artist Grant Blackler. Warren Lynam

MMA fighter gets a TV gig

YOUNG Caloundra fighter Grant Blackler hopes to parlay the "chance of a lifetime" into a life-altering career.

It was revealed yesterday that "Bull Ant" Blackler had secured a prized spot in a new TV instalment of the popular Ultimate Fighter.

"The Ultimate Fighter: Australia vs UK - The Smashes" is a 13-episode Australian-produced show that will screen on FX from September 19.

In keeping with the globally popular concept's format, a group of promising fighters lived together in a house and trained and competed against one another for a prized Ultimate Fighting Championship contract.

The three-hour finale will screen in December.

Blackler, one of four Australian lightweights (70kg) on the show, was understandably tight-lipped yesterday about his performance.

However, he hopes the exposure will help him achieve his goal of training with the world's best squads and fighting in the US-based UFC.

The 23-year-old - who earned his spot on the show through a trial in Sydney in June - described the six-week experience as a sharp learning curve that would stand him in good stead in the future.

"It was a big thing. It was great," he said.

"It was definitely the biggest experience (of my career to date). I fought a lot more experienced guys than myself.

"It's definitely been a surprise how far I've made it.

"It comes from the training I've been getting and hard work and dedication, I guess."

Blackler is trained by Ryan Dunstan at Ignite MMA at Caloundra.

Blackler amassed an 8-0 record as a featherweight, meaning he fought up a weight division for the show. Six of those victories came via TKO or submission.

He describes himself as a wrestler who likes to wear down opponents and then ground and pound them.

He juggles his gruelling training sessions with his work as a plumber, but desires to become a fulltime fighter.

"Given the right circumstances and the right training, it's (becoming a professional fighter) definitely the path I'd take," he said.

Another Ignite MMA featherweight, Callum Lewis, unsuccessfully trialled for the show.


Kerbside service at risk through abuse

Kerbside service at risk through abuse

Council to re-think kerbside clean up

Local Partners